Saturday, March 11, 2017

Get Carter (2000) Review:

Unless the people involved in a remake of an original film from the past truly have a passion for what they're doing, most people do not have high hopes for the overall outcome. Many viewers do not believe there are needs to reconstruct or modernize their favorite film property. Different interpretations are not normally accepted because the deviate too far from what made the original so memorable. Actor Sir Michael Caine has proven in many projects that he is quite the capable performer. Even before he starred in the first Get Carter (1971), Caine had had a number of good roles. Get Carter (1971) was one his best roles of the 70s and it forever stuck with him. By the late 1990s, Sylvester Stallone on other hand had hit a slump in his career. After supposedly retiring from action films (which does hold up today), Stallone took part in lesser acclaimed films. Most of these tanked or were not even theatrically released. This film is one of those blunders during that time but it isn't as bad as some say.
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"Hmmm,...not sure as to why people don't like me...."
Basing its premise off the original, Jack Carter (Sylvester Stallone) learns the death of his brother. Feeling his brother's death was no accident, Carter begins investigating who and what might be the reason for his personal loss. The people Carter begins questioning are suspects like Geraldine (Rhona Mitra), Eddie (Johnny Strong), Jeremy Kinnear (Alan Cumming), Cliff Brumby (Michael Caine) and Cyrus Paice (Mickey Rourke). All of these individuals have some kind of connection to Carter's brother. On top of that, Carter tries to figure out to reconcile his personal career with his family. His brother's wife (Miranda Richardson) doesn't really want him around and her daughter (Rachael Leigh Cook) doesn't understand him. Both of which are trying to cope with their loss. All in all the rewritten screenplay by David McKenna wasn't bad. McKenna was also the writer to widely acclaimed American History X (1998). It's not flawless like many scripts but it is workable. Here's what doesn't work first though.

There are several unnecessary aspects going on throughout the running time. Unlike the original where Carter was a gangster, this time he's a hired bouncer of sorts. There's a subplot where Carter is having an affair with his boss' mistress. There's no real payoff for this plot thread. It gets resolved but there isn't much to feel for it because of how little it's focused on. Also some specific and significant plot points are not as clear as some might think. This can get confusing if one isn't paying attention enough. The other problem belongs to the editing executed by Gerald B. Greenberg. Greenberg who's had a long career should know better. The problem is having fast to slow film editing for quick snippets of the movie. What's the point of speeding up a scene for a few seconds, then to have it play a regular speed for a few seconds and then speed it up a few seconds again? That's not style, that's needless speed adjustments. Other than these issues, the film plays out okay.

Although he hasn't gone on to direct numerous other theatrical features, Stephen Kay's direction was doable for the story. Kay has had more recent credits as an actor in general hospital. The actors achieve what they set out to do. Sylvester Stallone's acting is not at the level of emotion hard hitting level and that's not expected with this character. His performance is supposed to feel relatively disconnected from everyone else because nobody else does what he does. That's why his niece and sister in law is not sure how to converse with him. Rachael Leigh Cook is believable as Carter's niece considering she starter her career much earlier than this feature. Alan Cumming and Mickey Rourke both play their characters well. Rourke plays his role the most relaxed and comfortable. Even Michael Caine has a significant role, of which he has quite a harsh tongue as well. Even with Stallone saying he was retiring from the action genre, this film still has action sequences.

Rachel Leigh Cook
Are they as brutal as some of Stallone's other R-rated films - no. However this is 
made up by Stallone's ferocious anger that is portrayed on screen. Almost the entire movie has Stallone with a clenching his teeth with rage. There's a lot of built up energy there.  The action ranges from shootouts to fist fights. The camerawork by Mauro Fiore was decent. The only weird thing is that much of story takes place in rainy settings. Not sure if that was just due to filming location during a certain season or was intentionally filmed on days like those. Either way, the lighting was good as well as the scenes filmed. Fiore also worked on other films like Smokin' Aces (2006), Avatar (2009), The A-Team (2010) and Southpaw (2015). The film score by Tyler Bates was unique listening experience. Most scores rely more on orchestra. However Bates focused more on percussion, which gives the sound a smoother feel. Bates also reprises the original Get Carter theme. Even the softer themes are acceptable. Not bad.

Editing and subplots are the only big issues among this production. This remake is terribly unwatchable as viewers say. It doesn't surpass the original but it's not awful. The acting is fine, the action is fun and the music is nicely updated.

Points Earned --> 6:10

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